Stocks Lower in First Hour

Seabridge, Spin Master in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market opened lower on Thursday, a day after hitting its highest since February, weighed down by weakness in the technology sector.

The TSX faded 6.11 points to begin Thursday at 17,553.75

The Canadian dollar vaulted 0.68 cents to 78.63 cents U.S.

Canada on Wednesday approved its first COVID-19 vaccine and said initial shots will be delivered and administered across the country starting next week, while every Canadian will be able to be inoculated as early as the end of September.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Intertape Polymer Group to sector perform from outperform. Intertape shares lost 33 cents, or 1.3%, to $25.08.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Seabridge Gold to $31.00 from $30.00. Seabridge shares gained 19 cents to $22.59.

CIBC raised the rating on Spin Master to outperform from neutral. Spin Master spun higher 79 cents, or 2.7%, to $29.69.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regrouped 3.57 points, after a day of heavy losses Wednesday, to 774.12.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground in the early going, with communications sagging 1.2%, consumer discretionary down 0.9%, and consumer staples sliding 0.8%.

The five gainers were led by energy, up 2.6%, while gold took on 0.7%, and materials surged 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell slightly on Thursday following the release of weaker-than-expected jobless claims data at a time when lawmakers struggle to push through new fiscal stimulus before year-end.

The 30-stock index lost 59.73 points to 30,009.08. Verizon and American Express were the worst-performing Dow stocks, falling more than 1% each.

The S&P 500 eked up 1.11 points to 3,673.93.

The NASDAQ recovered 55.37 points to 12,394.33.

Initial weekly jobless claims jumped to 853,000 last week, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 730,000. That marks the highest number of initial claims being filed since September and the first time since October that they topped 800,000.

Thursday’s report stoked fears about economic recovery moving forward as Congress tries to put together a new stimulus package.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill with neither legal immunity for businesses nor state and local government relief. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said McConnell’s proposal to move stimulus talks forward without state and local government aid is not in good faith.

The House of Representatives passed a government funding extension Wednesday that would keep the federal government running through Dec. 18 and buy time for further negotiations for a bigger relief bill.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 0.93% from Wednesday’s 0.94%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices surged $1.71 to $47.23 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $9.40 to $1,847.90.